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Understanding Encryption

You don't have to know anything about encryption to use LifeReady. We've made it as simple as possible to organise your life administration regardless of your knowledge. However, we're happy to help you get a better understanding of what's happening to your data behind the scenes if you're curious.

What is Encryption?

Encryption is a process to encode data so that it is only readable to the right people. An encrypted piece of data will look like a random string of characters and provides no information to the person looking at it. The way this is done is by using a key to 'scramble' (encrypt) the data, much like you'd use a key to lock a safety deposit box. Once the box is locked (the data is encrypted), it can't be unlocked (decrypted) without the correct key.

For your reference, in the context of encryption, decrypted data is referred to as plaintext, whilst encrypted data is referred to as ciphertext.

There are differing levels of encryption based on how secure the data needs to be, but LifeReady ensures that your data is as secure as possible.

What are 'Keys'?

A key is what is used to encrypt and decrypt data, in the same way you can't unlock a safety deposit box without the right key, you can't decrypt ciphertext without the right key. Keys are randomly generated in a variety of different methods, but it will always be a random string of bits and will always be unique.

The longer the key, the more impossible it becomes to crack. This is why we use AES-256 keys.

At times, you might see references to public keys and private keys. The public key is public for anyone to use to encrypt data, but the private key that is used to decrypt the data is only known by the receiving party. What this means is that people can freely encrypt data to only be seen by the specific party holding the private key.

LifeReady uses a unique key structure that we've specifically built in order to keep your data secure whilst still allowing you to share it with your Trusted Parties. We call this KeyCrypt, and you can learn more about it here.